FDA moving to limit sales of flavored e-cigs in convenience stores
The Food and Drug Administration is preparing to strictly limit the sales of flavored e-cigarette products to try to keep them out of the hands of children and teenagers, a senior FDA official told NBC News Thursday.
In guidance to be issued next week, the FDA will restrict the sales of flavored, cartridge-based vaping products such as Juul to only tobacco shops and vape shops.
"We are going to restrict the ability of e-cigarette manufacturers to sell the flavored products in convenience stores," the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.
"The fruity flavored products will only be able to be sold in adult stores, so tobacco shops, vaping shops, of which there are 10,000 in the country."
Especially worrying is the rise in the use of cartridge-based products such as Juul, which deliver a hefty dose of nicotine alone with flavorings in a discreet, easy-to-hide device.
"This is only going to apply to the cartridge-based systems so they won't affect the open pen vaping systems by and large," the official said.
"The open pen vaping systems are used by and large by adults. The children by and large are using the cartridge based systems."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that adult smoking rates have dropped to their lowest level yet, at 14 percent. But the CDC found that 47.4 million U.S. adults , or 19 percent of the adult population, uses any tobacco product, including cigarettes, cigars, or e-cigarettes.
Public health experts have been complaining that the fruity, candy-like flavors found in e-cigarettes are targeted directly at children and teenagers.
Next week, the FDA will do more, the official said.
"We're also going to restrict online sales only to sites that put in place specific age verification measures and limit access to kids that we are going to specify in guidance," the official said.
"This is just the first step. We will consider other steps if use doesn't come down, and sharply."
The FDA action will not affect menthol or mint flavored products. That's because, the official said, it hasn't been able to limit the use of menthol in traditional, combustible cigarettes.
"We don't want to create a situation where the combustible products have features that make them more attractive than e-cigarettes," the official said.
"For the foreseeable future, we are going to allow menthol to remain in e-cigarettes."
Public health groups including the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Truth Initiative and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, have been urging the FDA to move faster and to remove Juul from the market until it undergoes an FDA review.
The FDA and CDC both say it's not clear whether e-cigarettes are safer than smoking burnt tobacco, but agree the nicotine in both is highly addictive and that teenagers should not use either.
Maggie Fox is senior writer for NBC News and TODAY, writing top news and analysis on health policy, science, medical treatments and disease.
November 09, 2018
ooked up to machines, while the other keeps trying to walk out of hospital because he has memory problems from a car crash.</p><p>Sophie, 22, suffered swelling on the brain after what she thought was a common cold, while Tom, 18, is living with severe head injuries from his road accident.</p><p>Neither of them can go home – and Sophie has been in hospital for a year already – because there is no funding for them to be cared for elsewhere.</p><p>Sophie, 22, lost the ability to breathe on her own after she suffered inflammation in her brain stem which also left her unable to move her eyes or swallow properly – she has now been in hospital for nearly an entire year because there is no funding for the 24-hour care she needs</p><p>Tomorrow's episode of Hospital will follow the team of neurosurgeons and staff and patients at The Walton Centre, a specialist brain and spine unit in Liverpool</p><p>This week's episode, the second in the fourth series of the programme, follows three patients with life-changing brain injuries.</p><p>The Walton Centre is the only dedicated NHS-run spine, brain and pain management centre in the UK.</p><p>As well as Sophie and Tom, tomorrow's programme also takes a look at the story of Michaela, who faces daunting and risky spine surgery.</p><p>Sophie, whose last name is unknown, lost the ability to breathe, move her eyes and swallow after what she thought was a common cold turned out to be deadly swelling in her brain stem.</p><p>These are usually automatic functions and it is life-threatening if they stop working.</p><p>Between January and August last year, Sophie had to be resuscitated 20 times and she has to remain hooked up to a ventilator in case she stops breathing.</p><p>Despite having made an impressive recovery and looking well, Sophie has been living in the Walton Centre's intensive therapy unit for more than a year.</p><p>She cannot be discharged until there is funding for 24-hour care for her, which the hospital is applying for.</p><p>Tom, like Sophie, also looks physically well but is living with the repercussions of a horror car crash in which he was thrown from the window of a vehicle.</p><p>The 18-year-old was the driver of the car involved in the collision and suffered severe head injuries, leaving him with permanent memory problems.</p><p>Doctors have done all they can to help Tom but he struggles to remember simple things and doesn't know there is anything wrong with him.</p><p>In the documentary it is revealed Tom keeps trying to leave the hospital by himself.</p><p>Dr Christine Burness is one of the consultant neurosurgeons at The Walton Centre in Liverpool, where the BBC's Hospital will explore the lives of patients</p><p>He needs help from rehabilitation specialists but The Walton is being forced to try and fund private support for him because there is no room in local NHS hospitals.</p><p>Michaela, a trainee nurse, is suffering from pain in her arms and sickness caused by scarring around her brain stem – where the brain and spine are joined.</p><p>The scarring formed after multiple operations to remove a fluid-filled cavity on her spinal cord, which was causing similar symptoms.</p><p>Her surgeon wants to operate to remove the scarring but the procedure could leave Michaela permanently disabled.</p><p>She fears becoming a burden to her family and fiancé, Andrew, whom she will marry in May – a day for which she wants to make sure she is healthy enough.</p><p>Consultant neurosurgeon Andrew Brodbelt is one of the staff featured in tomorrow's episode, which will focus on the stories of Sophie and Tom, who both suffered severe brain damage</p><p>Last week's episode of Hospital sparked fury among viewers when it revealed the shocking conditions for staff and patients at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.</p><p>Viewers were outraged when the programme revealed the hospital flooded 10 times last year, while a brand-new one stands empty and unfinished just three miles away.</p><p>Part-built with the lights permanently on and people employed to run the taps, the new facility was abandoned after the Governement's Carillion contract failed in 2018.</p><p>The £335million building can't be used because construction hasn't finished, but staff have to be employed to turn on its 4,000 taps to stop bacteria build-up.</p><p>And the lights cannot be turned off because the electrics are incomplete, and warranties on the new equipment are fast expiring.</p><p>Meanwhile, patients continue to be treated at the Royal Liverpool, where plumbing problems mean staff are forced to work in wellies when it regularly floods.</p><p>Leading the charge on Twitter was Labour Party's Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, who vented his fury at the situation.</p><p>Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, said the collapse of Government contractor has had a 'shameful impact' on the health service</p><p>Twitter user Hurst said 'the government should be ashamed' of what has happened to the hospitals in Liverpool after the collapse of Carillion</p><p>Janine Davies said: 'What is this government playing at why can't they step in and help out the NHS??' She was among viewers concerned patients' health was risked by using old facilities</p><p>'Hospital powerfully again shines a light on the reality of pressures on NHS frontline,' he wrote.</p><p>'Shocking to see hospital flooded and learn of the shameful impact of the Carillion mess #BuildOurRLH'.</p><p>One user known only as Hurst said: 'The government should be ashamed of the state the Royal Liverpool is in. They should be ashamed about the whole situation with Carillion.'</p><p>And Janine Davies added: 'What is this government playing at why can’t they step in and help out the NHS??' </p><p>Viewers watching BBC's Hospital last week, as well as being outraged by the state of a deteriorating hospital, had an outpouring of emotion for a three-year-old boy in the nearby Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool.</p><p>Charlie was having advanced brain surgery to try and remove an aggressive tumour.</p><p>Clips showed paediatric neurosurgeon Conor Mallucci explaining to Charlie's parents, John and Nici, that their son's cancer was spreading fast and he needed to operate quickly.</p><p>Three-year-old Charlie had high-risk brain surgery at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool to remove a tumour so he could have proton beam therapy in Germany</p><p>Charlie's surgery, to remove a rare form of brain cancer called an ependymoma was ultimately a success and meant he qualified for the NHS to send him to Germany to have pioneering and potentially life-saving proton beam therapy.</p><p>Viewers admitted to welling up while watching his story and the NHS has confirmed he has been recovering well since the documentary was filmed.</p><p>ITV journalist Elaine Willcox said she was 'sobbing at Charlie's story', echoing the emotions of many viewers who were delighted to see his surgery was a success</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. 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eat and sugar by half to improve their health and help save the planet.</p><p>Scientists say the adoption of a ‘planetary health diet’ is vital to feed the world’s booming population without destroying the environment.</p><p>The radical plan would mean people eating just 7g of pork a day, 7g of beef or lamb and 28g of fish – the equivalent of a quarter of a rasher of bacon, a 16th of a burger and two-thirds of a fish finger.</p><p>Experts say this would prevent around 11million early deaths by 2050 by slashing obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.</p><p>Scientists say a ‘planetary health diet’ is vital to feed the world’s booming population without destroying the environment</p><p>Experts say incorporating more fruit and vegetables into the diet and reducing meat intake could save the environement</p><p>But critics dismissed the campaign being launched today as ‘nanny-state madness’.</p><p>The report was drawn up by 37 experts from 16 countries in a three-year project.</p><p>Its authors stress that the world population is expected to reach ten billion by 2050, and Earth has finite resources for food production.</p><p>They say a billion people are already malnourished, and another two billion are eating too many of the wrong foods.</p><p>Previous studies have shown meat uses 83 per cent of the world’s farmland while providing only 18 per cent of calories.</p><p>The diet, details of which were published in the Lancet medical journal, would mean a radical shift away from meat and dairy to vegetables, beans, nuts and pulses.</p><p>Average consumption of red meat in Britain would have to drop by 77 per cent from its current 62g a day.</p><p>Dairy and butter intake would be cut by 40 per cent to just 250g – the equivalent of half a glass of milk, a slice of cheese and a small knob of butter.</p><p>The consumption of eggs would fall by more than a half to a fifth of an egg a day, or one and a half a week.</p><p>Sugar intake would be cut by half to just 31g a day and potato intake by three-quarters to 50g.</p><p>But people would have to eat three times as much vegetables, beans, nuts and soya to make up the calories.</p><p>A fruit seller in Peru, the report was drawn up by 37 experts from 16 countries in a three-year project</p><p>Scientists are launching a campaign to promote the diet by calling for extra taxes on meat and for the worst foods to be taken off supermarket shelves.</p><p>Dr Walter Willett, of Harvard Medical School, one of the lead authors of the report funded by the Wellcome Trust, said the diet is achievable.</p><p>He added: ‘We are not talking about deprivation to do this. We are talking about a way of eating which can be enjoyable and flavourful.’</p><p>He said people would have to start viewing meat as a treat.</p><p>‘These numbers for red meat may seem small to people in the US and UK but they will not seem small to people in a very large part of the world who are already eating about that much meat, or even somewhat less.</p><p>‘This doesn’t mean giving people a tablespoon of meat a day, but it means having a hamburger about once a week or, if you really like big steaks, have one once a month.’</p><p>He said those who ate the Mediterranean diet, commonly viewed as among the world’s healthiest, saw red meat as something for special occasions.</p><p>‘For me, I love lobster,’ he said. ‘But I don’t have it every day, I have it about three times a year. We need to change the way we view some foods, to make them special.’</p><p>Picked apples in Suckley, England, details of the diet were published in the Lancet</p><p>Professor Tim Lang, of City, University of London, said: ‘The food we eat and how we produce it determines the health of people and the planet, and we are currently getting this seriously wrong We need a significant overhaul, changing the global food system on a scale not seen before.</p><p>‘While this is uncharted territory and these problems are not easily fixed, this goal is within reach.’</p><p>But Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the free market Institute of Economic Affairs, said: ‘They say “You are what you eat” and that must be true because this is nuts.</p><p>‘Most people will look at these demands and laugh, but I welcome this report because it reveals the full agenda of nanny-state campaigners.</p><p>'They are making no secret of their desire to tax and ban their way towards a near-vegan diet for the world’s population.</p><p>‘Their desire to limit people to eating one tenth of a sausage a day leaves us in no doubt that we are dealing with fanatics.’</p><p>Dining with other people makes us eat less and could be helpful for dieters, researchers say.</p><p>The part of the brain which controls food cravings is also involved in social engagement, and activating one restrains the other, making us less interested in what is on the plate, the US study on mice by Stanford University found.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. 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re clearly justified, according to a new study of privately-insured Americans. </p><p>In fact, according to the latest data in 2016, one in six adults and one in 10 children received an unnecessary prescription at least once. </p><p>Lead author Kao-Ping Chua of the University of Michigan warns this is likely a staggering underestimate of the true rate of over-prescribing which is driving us towards a future where antibiotics do not work against even the most minor of currently treatable pathogens. </p><p>Over-prescription of antibiotics is fueling superbugs, like untreatable gonorrhea (pictured)</p><p>Antibiotics kill bacteria, or stop them from replicating. </p><p>Your doctor should do tests to determine which is which. </p><p>Even when you're feeling better, there may still be some bacteria in your body, which could then replicate and adapt to get around the antibiotics. </p><p>If you quickly relapse, it may be harder to treat. </p><p>'Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to public health in the world, and the large number of antibiotics that providers prescribe to patients are a major driver of resistance,' Dr Chua, a researcher and pediatrician at University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, said.</p><p>'Providers urgently need to eliminate prescribing that isn't needed, both for the sake of their patients and society.'</p><p>Concerns about over-prescribing stoked up in recent years - but specifically pertaining to opioids, as the highly addictive painkillers started claiming lives (72,000 of them in 2017). </p><p>Opioids like Percocet, hydrocodone, oxycodone - or even heroin and fentanyl - are extremely addictive, and even small doses can be lethal. </p><p>To summarize a decades-long, complex saga: drug companies went unchecked as they pushed their products on medical providers, with lucrative incentives to prescribe more. What's more, doctors knew that this powerful medication could provide instant relief for patients. By prescribing more, they could cut the risk of a patient being left helpless in excruciating pain out of hours.</p><p>Now, in the US, states are bringing lawsuits against drug companies, attempting to impose stricter restrictions on how doctors dish out drugs, and running public health campaigns to warn people about the dangers of opioids. </p><p>Antibiotics are not as immediately threatening - a high dose won't kill you (unless you're extremely allergic to penicillin and don't get seen in time) and they're not addictive (though some may include side effects of diarrhea, headaches and the like). </p><p>However, world health leaders have been warning for years that the over-prescription of antibiotics will be even more deadly than any addiction epidemic. </p><p>The more antibiotics are present in human bodies, the more pathogens become familiar with them. </p><p>Every time they confront antibiotics, they notice more things about the drug, adapting themselves to get around it. </p><p>That is why we are now seeing more and more 'antibiotic-resistant superbugs', which do not respond to the antibiotics we've always relied on to prevent needless deaths from things like tuberculosis and pneumonia.</p><p>The CDC estimates that two million Americans a year are affected by antibiotic-resistant infections, 23,000 of whom die. </p><p>According to Dr Chua, if over-prescribing continues the way it is now, that is set to rise. </p><p>His new study, published today in the British Medical Journal, found that the rate of antibiotic prescriptions is 805 per 1,000 people. National data suggest around 270 million antibiotic prescriptions are filled every year.</p><p>Using international medical coding guidelines, he and his team established whether a diagnosis 'always,' 'sometimes,' or 'never' justified antibiotics. </p><p>He was also concerned by the high rate - more than a quarter - of prescriptions that had no documented diagnosis to go with them. Likely, he says, the prescription was done over the phone, with a long-time patient recounting some tell-tale symptoms of a bacterial infection, and a doctor ringing in a prescription just to nip it in the bud.</p><p>That is one of the myriad of reasons why curbing antibiotic prescriptions isn't simple. </p><p>History has shown that taking an iron fist approach of punishment and reward for doctors is both inefficient and easily circumvented. </p><p>More importantly, it's a two-way street: often it is the patients who come in demanding antibiotics.</p><p>For example, in Dr Chua's field of pediatrics, antibiotics was once a standard treatment for pink eye (or, conjunctivitis), which is often a viral infection. </p><p>'Patients come in and they expect or insist [on having antibiotics] because they have been exposed in similar situations in the past, perhaps inappropriately,' he explains. </p><p>'Now you're trying to reverse that culture, which is an up hill battle.'</p><p>Researchers are trying creative ways to get around the problem. </p><p>One study, by some colleagues of Dr Chua's in Michigan, sent out emails to doctors at one practice telling them they were either one of the best or one of the worst when it comes to over-prescribing. And since 'doctors are competitive people', as Dr Chua put it, they team did see a drop in over-prescription afterwards. </p><p>But Dr Chua believes one immediate area of focus should be on how much healthcare centers rely on patient satisfaction. </p><p>In the US, patients - bunged up with a nasty cold, earache, headache, or what have you - have to pay to see a doctor. If you go out empty-handed, still ill, and down $40, you aren't going to feel too great. Even a pointless prescription might soften the blow. And doctors know that. Often, they have just a few minutes to review the patient and get on to the next, so a promise of something - anything - is an easy tick.</p><p>That's why Dr Chua wants to turn his sights next to prescription rates in other US populations. </p><p>His new study, which only covered privately-insured Americans, found that of the 3.6 million inappropriate antibiotic prescription fills, 71 percent were written in office-based settings, six percent in urgent care centers, and five percent in emergency departments.</p><p>He suspects that ratio may shift if we look at the larger proportion of Americans with public insurance, or no insurance, who more often go to urgent care for their ailments. </p><p>Either way, he says, more studies are needed, and more attention is needed to slow antibiotic resistance. </p><p>'It's increasingly clear that we can't keep doing this,' he says.</p><p>'I'm pessimistic, we won't get to zero [i.e., completely eliminating antibiotic over-prescription]. But we have to get as close as possible.</p><p>'It's very difficult to eliminate just because of all the incentives that providers face to prescribe. </p><p>'But we need to keep working on it because those antibiotic resistant bacteria are causing more pain and suffering and we're not developing new alternatives fast enough for the superbugs out there now. The antibiotics we use are going to become less and less effective.'</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
ritten, or redistributed. ©2019 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes. </p><p>According to Men’s Health, the World Health Organization now recognizes porn addiction as a behavioral disorder.</p><p>Dubbed Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD), the condition is defined as “a persistent pattern of failure to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behavior.”</p><p>Health professionals may disagree on the exact parameters porn addiction should take. However, many experts understand the need to help people who are watching porn to the detriment of physical health, work and personal relationships.</p><p>Despite the new WHO classification, clinicians say they’ve been helping people with porn addiction for years, reports Self magazine.</p><p>That suggests that many people view their porn-watching as problematic. If these patients are actively wanting to overcome porn addiction, shouldn’t healthcare professionals be prepared to help them?</p><p>Defining the problem and creating diagnostic criteria are steps in the right direction. However, other organizations in the United States haven’t yet classified this as a condition, states Men’s Health.</p><p>Because of that, there stands a hole in available treatment for overcoming porn obsession.</p><p>While health organizations play catch-up on this disorder, both men and women are taking in high amounts of porn content.</p><p>The famed explicit site Pornhub recently stated that its site received over 30 billion hits in 2018, reports Esquire. Of those hits, the United States was the biggest consumer. Americans stayed on the site longer than any other nationality, and their time spent viewing porn increased from the previous year.</p><p>According to Covenant Eyes, an Internet accountability software company, roughly 28,000 users are watching pornography every second. Users are also spending around $3,000 on porn every second. For mobile Internet users, 1 out of every 5 mobile searches is for porn.</p><p>Women aren’t excluded from this heavy porn-watching either. Pornhub released information in 2017 that revealed women spending more time watching porn than men, reports anti-porn advocacy group Fight the New Drug. Women were also more likely to search for harder versions of porn than men.</p><p>Many people argue that these numbers suggest a natural need for humans to gratify themselves through porn. However, allowing porn as a social norm could have far-reaching consequences.</p><p>Covenant Eyes states that 56 percent of divorce cases involved a partner’s obsessive interest in porn sites. In addition, 64 percent of Christian men and 15 percent of Christian women report watching porn at least once a month. This is a departure from the teachings Christians adhere to in their worship.</p><p>These statistics show that many people are watching pornography at the expense of their loved ones and religious beliefs.</p><p>Next, people undergoing sexual recovery often identify porn with addiction symptoms, says sex addiction expert Robert Weiss to Self. Weiss is a certified sex addiction therapist (CSAT). According to him, these patients often mention obsession and negative consequences in relation to their porn habits. </p><p>Then, there’s the potential for damaging a person’s health. Of course, those neglecting hygiene, diet and personal relationships could experience mental and physical health problems.</p><p>But the consequences can go even farther, stifling arousal and erection (in men) during real-life intercourse, says Men’s Health.</p><p>If nothing else, viewing pornography gives both men and women an unrealistic expectation of the human body. Users can lose pleasure in intimacy with their partners.</p><p>If viewing porn might not even accomplish its own purpose, then people should seek pleasure in other activities.</p><p>For those already steeped in porn addiction, you can overcome the problem—but you’ll have to reach out for help.</p><p>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p>
a miracle baby after she found out she was pregnant the night before she was to begin fertility treatment.</p><p>Her hopes of ever having children with her partner, Jonathan Gwilt, were dashed when she received a polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis. </p><p>But to her amazement, Miss Hodson, from Brierley Hill, West Midlands, discovered she had naturally conceived after losing 1st 7lbs (9.5kg) in eight months.</p><p>Miss Hodson - who had her baby, Joel Gwilt, in August - claimed cutting out sugar, Greggs and microwave meals from her diet is what led to her pregnancy. </p><p>Chloe Hodson, 25, who had her baby, Joel Gwilt, in August, claimed her switch from indulging in Greggs and microwave meals to health food is what helped her conceive naturally</p><p>Although never told she was unable to conceive, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis had dashed Miss Hodson's hopes at being a mother with her partner, Jonathan Gwilt</p><p>Joel Gwilt, now five months old, was Miss Hodson's 'miracle baby' because she found out she was pregnant the night before she was to begin fertility treatment </p><p>Miss Hodson said: 'I spent many nights crying because I didn't think I would ever be able to have kids.</p><p>'The aim was to lose the weight to start the fertility medication but it turned out just losing the weight in my case was just what I needed to boost my fertility.</p><p>'The best thing I did was cut sugar out of my tea because I would always have one or two sugars in my tea, and I have five or six cups of it a day.</p><p>'When I found out I was pregnant, I honestly couldn't believe it.'</p><p>Although Miss Hodson had had painful and irregular periods since she was 14 years old, she never sought a formal diagnosis until she and Mr Gwilt decided to start trying for a baby two years ago.</p><p>Lunch: A lunch from Greggs: slice of pizza, steak bake, sandwich and a cake</p><p>Snacks: Chocolate; sweets; six cups of tea with two cubes of sugar in each</p><p>Dinner: Homemade stews, or a meal including meat, potato and vegetables</p><p>Snacks: Still six cups of tea but with no sugar; plenty of fruit</p><p>The hopeful mother-to-be burst into tears when an ultrasound and internal scan confirmed that she had PCOS, a common ovarian condition which affects one in five women.</p><p>Miss Hodson said: 'As soon as I saw the scan I knew what it was and I burst out in tears.</p><p>'I was crying to the nurse, and then when I was in the car on the way home I rang my mum and I was crying to my mum. I was saying "I'll never have kids, it's all over. I don't know what to do".</p><p>Doctors didn't confirm that Miss Hodson couldn't have children. </p><p>But, due to the condition affecting fertility for many sufferers, Miss Hodson feared she would never have children.</p><p>She did pregnancy tests regularly, hoping her missed or light periods were due to pregnancy and not PCOS. </p><p>But after over a year of trying, the couple decided to discuss fertility treatment. </p><p>'They said to start the fertility medication I had to lose weight first before they could put me on it.'</p><p>It is unclear if Miss Hodson was undergoing fertility treatment on the NHS or privately. </p><p>National guidelines say women under 40 should be offered three cycles of IVF on the NHS if they have been trying to have a baby for two years.</p><p>But local health chiefs, responsible for funding fertility services for regions, can set criteria for who is eligible for IVF treatment. Some CCGs, as they are known, have previously limited treatment to women whose BMI is under 30. </p><p>Miss Hodgson cut out lunches from Greggs, chocolate bars, cakes, sweets and pasta dinners for homemade stews, fruit and sandwiches over a period of eight months.</p><p>People with PCOS have difficulty losing weight, making it more of a challenge for Ms Hodson. </p><p>She said: 'If there was a low sugar or salt version of what I wanted to buy then I'd have that instead of the normal one.</p><p>'I eat a lot more home-cooked meals whereas before I was eating a lot of microwave meals.' </p><p>The night before she was to begin fertility treatment, Miss Hodson took a pregnancy test on the off-chance.</p><p>Miss Hodson and Mr Gwilt had discussions about fertility treatment with doctors, but Miss Hodson would have to lose weight first. She lost 9.5kg (21lbs) in eight months</p><p>Miss Hodson and her partner, Mr Gwilt, couldn't believe their eyes when a pregnancy test showed positive after so many failed tests </p><p>Miss Hodson was delighted when Joel Gwilt was born on August 12 2018</p><p>PCOS is most common in women who are overweight and demonstrate insulin resistance.</p><p>Insulin resistance is when the body's tissues doesn’t respond to the normal level of insulin, and so the body needs to produce extra to compensate.</p><p>This excess insulin can increase the production and activity of male hormones.</p><p>Most women with PCOS crave sugary foods, even after eating meals. This is due to increases in insulin. </p><p>These can lead to symptoms which vary greatly from woman to woman, including excessive body hair, irregular or infrequent menstruation, problems getting pregnant (infertility), weight gain, and skin problems.</p><p>Eating less sugar results in lower blood glucose levels. This decreases insulin levels, and reduces male hormone levels, according to the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute.</p><p>Zita West, a fertility expert and nutrition advisor said: 'If we have too much insulin in our system too frequently, the insulin receptors in the body (some of which are on the ovaries) begin to desensitize, creating a condition called insulin resistance.</p><p>'This is a major risk factor for PCOS and may even directly cause damage to the woman's eggs.</p><p>'Sugar is empty calories that cause weight gain, which converts to fat and ages sperm and egg cells.</p><p>'So keeping blood sugar under control is essential for optimizing the chances of pregnancy, whether through IVF or naturally.' </p><p>She said: 'I was so shocked I just stood there and I thought "oh my god, it's finally happened, I'm pregnant".</p><p>'I ran into my living room and said to my partner, "look, look at this, is that a plus? It looks like a plus to me, is that a plus?".</p><p>'He didn't know because it was really faint, so we took another one. I was so happy. I was honestly so over the moon with it.</p><p>'But I was scared at the same time because it was whether it was actually happening. </p><p>'They say with PCOS, you can have problems with the pregnancies. </p><p>'I was scared that while I had had the chance of being pregnant, will I have the chance of having my baby?'</p><p>Despite her concerns, Miss Hodson rang the clinic in which she was about to receive her fertility treatment and said she no longer needed to go. </p><p>'As soon as I got off the phone with them I rang my doctors and said can I get an appointment now just to check everything is fine,' she said.</p><p>'They booked me in for a scan and said, "yep, 100 per cent pregnant".</p><p>'I worked hard to keep the weight down while I was pregnant and I went for regular weight checks at the doctors' too.' </p><p>PCOS is a hormonal condition whereby women have undeveloped follicles on the ovaries as well as blood sugar level problems and increased insulin resistance.</p><p>This, according to London fertility expert Zita West, is a major risk to fertility, and keeping blood sugar levels controlled would optimize chances of conceiving. </p><p>Miss Hodson was delighted when Joel was born on August 12 2018, weighing 8lb 13oz. </p><p>Miss Hodson believes cutting the 'junk food at every meal' helped her to conceive naturally. </p><p>She said: 'It was just convenient because I had to be at work for 9am and I was getting back at 5pm and at that point I was so tired I couldn't be bothered to cook a proper meal.</p><p>'It would just be two minutes in the microwave and that would do.</p><p>'Because we were trying and because I had polycystic ovaries anyway, every time I didn't get a period I would take a pregnancy test on the off chance it had worked that time.</p><p>'For nearly two years, taking a pregnancy test every couple of months it really gets you down.' </p><p>Miss Hodson is advising women to go to the doctors if they have painful periods, wishing she had done so all those years ago.</p><p>She said: 'I wish now I'd sought out help earlier, because I had painful periods even in my teenage years. It was really and I should have got it looked at then.</p><p>'They would have picked it up them. I would have been more prepared instead of getting that shock when I wanted a baby.</p><p>'Before they get diagnosed, half the time women just pass [PCOS] off as a painful period and think there's nothing wrong. I would say go with your gut instinct, get yourself checked out first.</p><p>'Sometimes the weight loss does help. In my case it did. But it doesn't work for everybody. </p><p>'It took a couple of hours, once I was back home, for it to sink in. This was my son - he was finally here. I have him for the rest of my life now. It's amazing.' </p><p>Research has shown fertility treatment is less successful for obese women and experts have warned being overweight is known to affect IVF conception, pregnancy and birth.</p><p>NHS guidelines say women with a BMI of over 30 will find it more difficult to conceive, and a study published in 2012 found having a high BMI could adversely affect the quality of women's eggs.</p><p>Healthy eggs have one spindle attached to a set of chromosomes. But the researchers found obese women were more likely to have eggs with multiple spindles and disorganised chromosomes.</p><p>A study published in November last year reiterated the findings, showing that the eggs of overweight women – who have a BMI of over 25 – were smaller and had a different biochemistry from the eggs of healthy weight women.</p><p>This jeopardises the chance of a successful pregnancy.</p><p>Royal College of Midwives advise that overweight women undergoing IVF are almost twice as likely to miscarry.</p><p>The IVF procedure itself is more difficult if the woman is overweight, according to the Advanced Fertility Centre for Chicago.</p><p>When a woman is significantly overweight, the ovaries are pushed up high, away from the top of the vagina.</p><p>This means it is more difficult to inject the needles into the follicles to get the eggs out.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. 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s during Mass to stop the rampant spread of flu that has struck seven million Americans already this winter. </p><p>The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has advised Catholics displaying symptoms of the flu to watch Sunday Mass on their TV. </p><p>Only the consecrated bread will be given during the Holy Communion - without the chalice of wine that is shared among churchgoers. </p><p>Catholics have been told to keep their hands to themselves to stop the rampant spread of flu that has struck seven million Americans so far</p><p>This year, 90 percent of flu cases tested by the CDC are H1N1, the same strain that caused the swine flu epidemic in 2009. Rates are high in 19 states and New York City</p><p>'It is not a sin to miss Mass on Sundays if you are ill,' the archdiocese said in a statement. </p><p>They also said that during the Sign of Peace, instead of shaking hands or hugging, as is practiced in some parishes, it would be best to simply nod your head and avoid bodily contact. </p><p>Soap or anti-bacterial gel should be used before and after administering Holy Communion. </p><p>'When praying the Our Father, please do not hold hands,' it said. 'Simply extend your hands toward Heaven or fold your hands.</p><p>'Please note the reason for these directives is to limit the spread of influenza and to save lives.</p><p>'These directives will be revoked when the situation improves.'</p><p>The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine.</p><p>While there are many different flu viruses, flu vaccines protect against the three or four viruses that research suggests will be most common. </p><p>Three-component vaccines contain an H3N2, an H1N1 and a B virus. Four component vaccines have an additional B virus component.</p><p>Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalisations - around 70,000-80,000 have been hospitalised so far.</p><p>Flu vaccination also has been shown to significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from influenza.</p><p>People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.</p><p>But it is recommended anyone over the age of six months old should be vaccinated.</p><p>If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.</p><p>If you get sick with flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness.</p><p>Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. </p><p>The statement comes just a few days after The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) warned that flu activity had 'sharply increased' and is now widespread in New Mexico.</p><p>The flu has already taken the lives of four over 50s as of December. During last year's flu season, New Mexico had more than 280 influenza and pneumonia-related deaths. </p><p>Diocese of Allentown in Pennsylvania also advised similar measures, in light of being listed as a state with widespread flu activity by the CDC.</p><p>Exchange of the sign of peace and the drinking wine from the chalice during Holy Communion would be stopped in its 84 parishes.</p><p>'This suspension will begin with the Vigil and Sunday Masses the weekend of January 12-13, and will be in effect until the incidence of influenza subsides in our region,' that statement said. </p><p>Up to 7.3million Americans have been sickened with the flu so far this season, according to the latest CDC estimates.</p><p>'As flu infections increase across the state, it is important to get vaccinated if you haven't already received the flu vaccine this season', said the NMDOH Secretary Lynn Gallagher. </p><p>'The flu vaccine is the best way for you to protect yourself and your families, especially young children and elderly family members.' </p><p>The NMDOH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine.</p><p>The measures to avoid touching were also forced upon Catholics last year in Maine during the killer flu outbreak. </p><p>The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, which covers the entire state of Maine, warned priests to be 'cautious not to touch the tongue or the hand of the communicant'. </p><p>Figures confirm the strain circulating widely this year (H1N1), while serious, is nowhere near as threatening as H3N2 last year. </p><p>The number of states reporting widespread activity increased to 30 from 24 states, the CDC said on January 11, with 15 states and New York City continue to experience 'high flu activity'. </p><p>The latest estimates show at least 13 children have died. The CDC does not update data on adult deaths. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
en allowed to keep their identity hidden in a public inquiry of this kind.</p><p>Around 7,500 people were affected by the NHS blunder which saw them get blood transplants from people infected with HIV and hepatitis C.</p><p>At least 2,500 of these people are believed to have died already – the crisis happened at a time when HIV could not be easily treated.</p><p>At least 7,500 people were infected with HIV or hepatitis C after being given infected blood or plasma transfusions which had been donated by prostitutes, prisoners and drug users in the 1970s and 1980s (stock image)</p><p>A public inquiry will be launched in April into why and how people became infected, how it affected their and their families' lives, and whether there was a cover-up.</p><p>Thousands more people may have become infected with HIV or hepatitis by the blood transfusions – some of which came from prisoners in the US – without knowing.</p><p>Patients involved in the scandal will be able to provide evidence in the inquiry without revealing who they are.</p><p>This will help them to avoid making it public they have deadly, contagious viruses in what is expected to be a high-profile investigation. </p><p>There is still stigma surrounding HIV and other diseases which can be spread through sex, meaning people could be reluctant to publicly speak out.</p><p>Victims will instead give their evidence and tell their stories through three trained 'intermediaries'. </p><p>Chair of the inquiry, Sir Brian Langstaff, a former high court judge, said: 'The work of these intermediaries will be especially appropriate for anyone who does not wish to take the time to give a full detailed written account or who may find that process too upsetting for all sorts of reasons. </p><p>'It would be a pity if what they had to say remained unheard and I wanted the Inquiry’s processes to enable them to be heard, despite those difficulties.' </p><p>Prime Minister Theresa May ordered the inquiry in 2017 when she said what had happened was 'appalling'.</p><p>Mrs May said at the time: '‘Thousands of patients expected the world-class care our NHS is famous for, but they were failed.</p><p>'While this Government has invested record amounts to support the victims, they have been denied those answers for too long and I want to put that right.’</p><p>The contaminated blood scandal happened when the NHS gave seriously ill patients blood or plasma transfusions which were infected with HIV.</p><p>Blood clotting agent Factor VIII began to be used as a treatment for patients including those with haemophilia, a condition which stops the blood clotting.</p><p>Because Britain was struggling to keep up with demand, it imported supplies of Factor VIII from the US, where people were paid to donate it.</p><p>It later turned out that among the donors were prisoners, prostitutes and drug users who were infected with HIV – which was unknown at the time.</p><p>In the 1980s the health service began heating samples to kill bacteria and viruses but thousands of people had already been infected.</p><p>Many have since died or lived for decades with debilitating illness.</p><p>Sir Brian Langstaff has warned predictions that up to 25,000 people were affected by the scandal could be proved right during his two-year-inquiry.</p><p>The contaminated blood scandal is regarded as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.</p><p>More than 7,500 patients were infected with HIV and hepatitis after being given contaminated blood by the NHS in the 1970s and 1980s.</p><p>Victims include patients with the blood clotting disorder haemophilia, mothers who needed blood transfusions following childbirth or patients who required them after major surgery.</p><p>A shortage of a blood clotting treatment, Factor VIII, meant that much of the blood had been imported from prison inmates in the US who were paid for their donations.</p><p>Many were drug addicts, alcoholics or prostitutes suffering from serious illnesses, and their blood had not been treated to destroy any viruses before being used in Britain.</p><p>By the mid-1980s, the blood was being heat-treated to kill viruses, but patients had already been infected. Wholesale screening of blood products only began in 1991.</p><p>The Daily Mail campaigned for nearly 30 years for justice for the victims before Theresa May announced in July 2017 that there would be a full inquiry into what she called an ‘appalling tragedy’.</p><p>It aims to determine whether members of the Government covered up the scandal as campaigners say senior Department of Health officials knew the blood was contaminated even while it was still being given to patients.</p><p>The judge chairing the public inquiry, which starts next April and is expected to last two years, warned the scandal could be far more wide-reaching.</p><p>Sir Brian Langstaff said estimates that up to 25,000 patients were affected ‘may prove right’ - with thousands potentially still unaware they are infected.</p><p>Up to 2,800 patients have since died and many others remain very seriously ill.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. 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ere have been 658 cases of the killer virus since the epidemic began last August.</p><p>The figures come amid fears the outbreak in the DRC could get even worse because of political instability following a presidential election.</p><p>Aid workers on the ground have warned the outbreak of the virus - one of the most lethal known to science - is expected to rage on until the middle of the year.</p><p>Health authorities in the African nation yesterday revealed there have been 658 cases of the killer virus since the epidemic began last August</p><p>A bulletin posted yesterday by the Health Ministry in the DRC stated there have been 609 confirmed Ebola cases so far. Another 49 are under investigation.</p><p>The outbreak has so far struck hardest in the eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri - which border South Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda. It has yet to spread further.</p><p>Officials revealed the number of cases of the lethal virus in Beni, a city home to around 230,000 people, is falling.</p><p>The ministry has not reported any new cases this week in the city, situated in a region caught up in violence blamed on Islamist rebels from Uganda.</p><p>Armed rebels have attacked, kidnapped and killed medical staff trying to combat the outbreak and equipment has been destroyed, making it difficult to help victims.</p><p>Tracking suspected contacts of Ebola victims is also challenging in areas controlled by dangerous rebels, officials have said repeatedly.</p><p>A team of medical workers are seen putting on their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) ahead of entering an Ebola Treatment Centre run by The Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) on August 11, 2018 in Beni, northeastern DRC</p><p>At least 361 people are believed to have died in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – an unusual number of children were dying of the virus last autumn, when experts realised they were contracting it when visiting medical centres</p><p>A presidential election in December caused protests across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (pictured, protestors in Kinshasa, the country's capital). In the north-east province of North Kivu, where the Ebola outbreak is raging, people have fled to Uganda to escape violence </p><p>Unrest and violence has made the current Ebola outbreak difficult to control because people have attacked and kidnapped health workers and others have fled their homes, making it hard to track the spread of the virus (pictured, police officers guard a polling station in the capital of Kinshasa, which has so far remained untouched by Ebola)</p><p>The breakout is the second largest in history, after the 2014 West Africa Ebola epidemic that lasted for two years, infecting 28,000 and killing more than 11,300.</p><p>As well as fears Ebola will spread into other regions of DRC, the neighbouring countries of Uganda and South Sudan are on high alert.</p><p>Health workers in those countries have been given vaccines against the virus to try and prevent it spreading via people who travel across the borders.</p><p>Ebola can be transmitted between humans through blood and other bodily fluids of people who have been infected, and by touching infected surfaces.</p><p>Tensions have been high in the DRC because of a presidential election which was supposed to mark end of a chaotic 18 years of ruling by Joseph Kabila.</p><p>The government cancelled the election in some regions because of insecurity.</p><p>In response, protestors attacked an Ebola treatment centre which contained patients thought to have been infected.</p><p>Politician Felix Tshisekedi was unexpectedly declared the election winner, leading to claims of fraud and calls for a recount from his main rival.</p><p>Monitoring groups noted widespread irregularities including faulty voting machines and poorly run polling stations, according to reports. </p><p>The new outbreak is the DRC’s ninth since the discovery of Ebola in the country in 1976.</p><p>Health experts credit an awareness of the disease among the population and local medical staff's experience treating for past successes containing its spread.</p><p>DRC’s vast, remote geography also gives it an advantage, as outbreaks are often localised and relatively easy to isolate.</p><p>Ebola, a haemorrhagic fever, killed at least 11,000 across the world after it decimated West Africa and spread rapidly over the space of two years.</p><p>That epidemic was officially declared over back in January 2016, when Liberia was announced to be Ebola-free by the WHO.</p><p>The country, rocked by back-to-back civil wars that ended in 2003, was hit the hardest by the fever, with 40 per cent of the deaths having occurred there.</p><p>Sierra Leone reported the highest number of Ebola cases, with nearly of all those infected having been residents of the nation.</p><p>An analysis, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found the outbreak began in Guinea - which neighbours Liberia and Sierra Leone.</p><p>A team of international researchers were able to trace the epidemic back to a two-year-old boy in Meliandou - about 400 miles (650km) from the capital, Conakry.</p><p>Emile Ouamouno, known more commonly as Patient Zero, may have contracted the deadly virus by playing with bats in a hollow tree, a study suggested.</p><p>Figures show nearly 29,000 people were infected from Ebola - meaning the virus killed around 40 per cent of those it struck.</p><p>Cases and deaths were also reported in Nigeria, Mali and the US - but on a much smaller scale, with 15 fatalities between the three nations.</p><p>Health officials in Guinea reported a mysterious bug in the south-eastern regions of the country before the WHO confirmed it was Ebola. </p><p>Ebola was first identified by scientists in 1976, but the most recent outbreak dwarfed all other ones recorded in history, figures show.</p><p>Scientists believe Ebola is most often passed to humans by fruit bats, but antelope, porcupines, gorillas and chimpanzees could also be to blame.</p><p>It can be transmitted between humans through blood, secretions and other bodily fluids of people - and surfaces - that have been infected.</p><p>The WHO warns that there is 'no proven treatment' for Ebola - but dozens of drugs and jabs are being tested in case of a similarly devastating outbreak.</p><p>Hope exists though, after an experimental vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, protected nearly 6,000 people. The results were published in The Lancet journal. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
eap its health benefits, scientists have said.</p><p>The result is a tea with almost double the amount of the antioxidants, according to a study by Cornell University.</p><p>However, if you're drinking green tea for taste, tap water will yield the best cup, ensuring it's not too bitter.</p><p>EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is a natural antioxidants found in green tea, shown to be beneficial for the brain and heart in studies.</p><p>Celebrities including Jennifer Aniston and Lady Gaga are said have said to use the Asian brew for weight loss, energy and stress control. </p><p>It's best to brew green tea in bottled water instead of tap water to reap the benefits of ECGC - the antioxidant - scientists at Cornell's Sensory Evaluation Center have said</p><p>Jennifer Aniston and Lady Gaga have previously said they are fans of green tea, using it for weight loss, stress and energy</p><p>To conduct the tests, 2.5g of green tea was weighed out into pre-warmed Gaiwan tea brewing vessel with 125ml of water at 80°C (176°F).</p><p>The green tea infusion was brewed for three minutes and then strained through a fine mesh strainer.</p><p>EGCG in the tea infusions was measured by the researchers, and around 100 tea drinkers were recruited to taste the tea.</p><p>After giving details on their normal tea drinking habits, the volunteer evaluated six cups of tea - three black, and three green.</p><p>They rated each tea sample on a scale of one to nine for how much they liked its taste and appearance.</p><p>They were also taught how to use a specific scale to measure the sweetness, bitterness, sourness and earthiness of the brews. </p><p>An anti-ageing drug may be on the horizon using the plant supplement quercetin - found in red wine, onions and green tea, research suggests.</p><p>Scientists have discovered a drug cocktail that clears senescent - or 'zombie' - cells from the body.</p><p>Senescent cells are alive but non-functioning and have been linked to everything from arthritis to Alzheimer's. </p><p>They are also thought to cause the deadly lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) by triggering inflammation. </p><p>Researchers gave 14 patients the cancer drug Sprycel (dasatinib) and quercetin, and they became significantly more mobile after just three weeks.</p><p>The findings, published The Lancet online journal EBioMedicine, raise hope that senolytic drugs may lead to a new way of targeting age-related disease. </p><p>Results showed levels of ECGC in the green teas were 'drastically reduced' in those brewed with boiled tap water. No effect was noticed in the black teas.</p><p>The researchers said this is because the levels of calcium, magnesium and iron are higher in tap water.</p><p>Professor Robin Dando, one of the authors of the study, said: 'Bottled water is able to extract the EGCG more efficiently.'</p><p>He added this is because calcium and magnesium have been filtered out of the 'purer' water, and iron concentration is also 'brought down a notch'. </p><p>Professor Dando added: 'With purer water, you get more health benefits out of the tea.' </p><p>Consumers liked green tea brewed using tap water more than using bottled water, because it produced a sweeter taste.</p><p>But there was hardly any difference in black tea brewed in either tap water or bottled water. </p><p>The findings were published in the journal Nutrients.</p><p>'The average consumer for black tea isn't able to tell the difference,' said lead author Melanie Franks. </p><p>'Whether it was tap water or bottled water, the taste differences are too subtle.</p><p>'Since black tea has fewer catechins than green tea due to the oxidation process in manufacturing, the type of water used seems less important to the everyday tea drinker.'</p><p>Green tea, which originated in China and is made from Camellia sinensis leaves, is a well-researched area. </p><p>ECGC has been found to stave off or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease in a 2015 University of Missouri study, when combined with physical activity. </p><p>But other components found in green tea - caffeine, amino acid L-theanine and other catechins have shown possible health benefits in studies. </p><p>These include lower cholesterol, a lower risk of Parkinson's and even cancer. They have also been shown to boost metabolism. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
jamin Button disease'.</p><p>Michiel, 20, and Amber, 12, Vandeweert, of Diepenbeek, Belgium, suffer from the genetic condition progeria, which causes them to age eight-to-ten times too fast. </p><p>With the disorder affecting just one in every four-to-eight million people worldwide, the siblings make up two of the 155 known cases. </p><p>Most patients die at only 12 years old, with the siblings already experiencing problems with their bones, teeth and hair.</p><p>But the pair show no signs of slowing down with Michiel loving to race on his GoKart and Amber being a keen dancer. </p><p>They have even set the goal of being the longest living progeria sufferers ever, with the current record being 26 years old. </p><p>Siblings Michiel and Amber Vandeweert both battle the incredibly rare 'Benjamin Button disease'. The condition - known as progeria - causes sufferers to age too fast and affects just one in every four-to-eight million people worldwide. They are pictured last December 1</p><p>While they endure cruel stares and comments from bullies at school, the siblings support each other through the ordeal of having such a rare disorder. Michiel enjoys being the 'big brother', with Amber being able to turn to him if she ever has a question about their shared condition</p><p>Their parents Wim and Godelieve Vandeweert (pictured with their children on December 1) were keen to expand their family after Michiel was born and were told it was almost impossible they would have another child with progeria. Amber was diagnosed at just seven weeks old </p><p>Michiel - who stands at just 4ft 1inch - said: 'Progeria has affected our hair, bones and height – just like old people. They say the rate you can get progeria is one-in-eight million, so it's extremely rare.</p><p>'They also say the life expectancy of someone with progeria is 12 years old, but we are taking medicines from America and hopefully these should extend people's lives by two years.</p><p>'Saying that, I'm now 20. So you know, that time has thankfully passed for me.' </p><p>Progeria, also known as Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome, is an extremely rare, progressive genetic disorder that causes children to age rapidly, beginning in their first two years of life.</p><p>The name derives from the Greek word meaning 'prematurely old'.</p><p>Children with progeria generally appear normal at birth. During the first year, signs and symptoms, such as slow growth and hair loss, begin to appear.</p><p>Heart problems or strokes are the eventual cause of death in most children with progeria. </p><p>The average life expectancy for a child with progeria is about 12 years, but some with the disease die younger and some live 20 years or longer.</p><p>There's no cure for progeria, but ongoing research shows some promise for a treatment.</p><p>Michiel was diagnosed at eight months old after his parents Wim and Godelieve Vandeweert took him to a children's care centre where doctors noticed he seemed different. </p><p>Speaking after Michiel's diagnosis, Mr Vandeweert said: 'When he turned five years old, he was changing. </p><p>'Losing his hair, not getting teeth and not gaining any weight. It was a big shock for us.'</p><p>Keen to expand their family, the parents were then told it was almost impossible they would have another child with the condition. </p><p>'We always thought about having two children. But when Michiel was born, we questioned ourselves,' Mr Vandeweert said.</p><p>'You can't inherit it from your parents and so it's very unlikely to have two children with progeria. </p><p>'We knew it had happened before but with a twin from the same cell.'</p><p>When Amber was born, the parents asked doctors to run some tests just to be on the safe side. Seven weeks later, they found out she too had progeria.</p><p>'The first few days were very hard, but we had a great support system around us to help us through that time,' Mr Vandeweert said.</p><p>Michiel was diagnosed at eight months old after doctors noticed he seemed different. To be on the safe side, his parents asked doctors to test Amber for progeria shortly after she was born. Amber is pictured right with her brother as a newborn and left as a toddler </p><p>The siblings enjoy bowling with friends and are pictured on a day out on December 1 last year</p><p>While enduring cruel stares and comments from bullies at school, the siblings are always there for each other.</p><p>'I would definitely say we're each other's best support. We both know what it's like, better than anyone,' Michiel said.</p><p>'If Amber ever has a question, she can always come to me. It's nice that I still get to be the big brother. Because if Amber didn't have progeria she would be a lot bigger than me already.'</p><p>Although they refuse to let their condition hold them back, the pair have not always found life easy. </p><p>'Kids see that we're different,' Michiel said. 'They start to make fun of you. But I always stood my ground and never backed away.'</p><p>Amber - who is 3ft 7inches tall - added: 'Last year I had some difficulties in school – I said I wanted to be like a normal person and people bullied me because of that.</p><p>'Thankfully, that has been resolved now and school is going really well for me at the moment. They take good care of me.'</p><p>Michiel can drive and is pictured out and about in his native Belgium last December 2</p><p>Michiel is pictured left as a baby, shortly before he was diagnosed with progeria. Keen to live as a full a life as possible, the now 20-year-old used to be a DJ (seen right)</p><p>He also loves to drive his GoKart and is pictured on the tracks on December 2 last year </p><p>The siblings are also often stared at when out in public, but try to take it in their stride.</p><p>'When they stare, that's okay when they just look and go forward,' Michiel said.</p><p>'But sometimes they just keep looking, that's when it's annoying. There's a big difference between the two.'</p><p>As well as having each other, the siblings also have a large circle of supportive friends. </p><p>'They look through the disease,' Michiel said. 'They don't see the progeria part of us. They see us and our personalities.' </p><p>One of their close friends - Ruben Gysemberg - has been with the siblings every step of the way. </p><p>'In the beginning, it was quite weird,' he said. 'But then I got to know both Michiel and Amber – we have always treated them like everyone else.</p><p>'They both handle everything so well. They have learnt to live with it.</p><p>'We now have a really good understanding of their condition too. Because as friends, we talk about it a lot. </p><p>'When they are not feeling well, we notice this. So yeah it's really nice how close we have become.' </p><p>Although Michiel and Amber have both experienced the ups and downs that come with having such a rare condition, they both live life to the full.</p><p>The pair regularly go bowling with friends. Michiel can also drive and used to be a DJ in his spare time.</p><p> 'I think we can both say we are very proud,' Amber said. 'You just have to be the person you want to be and embrace yourself no matter what.'</p><p>Michiel, who hopes to reach 30, added: 'We just try to live for the moment but we definitely both have more things we want to strive for.</p><p>'I am very proud to have made it to 20 years old. I think the oldest child ever with progeria was 26 – so now, I'm going to try and beat that!'</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>